3 Replies Latest reply on Dec 20, 2011 5:03 PM by John Sutherland

    Help with integrating Solidworks into a traditonal drafting class

    jason hall

      I am a new teacher and inherited a basic high school drafting/AutoCad course in Ohio. I decided to switch to SolidWorks last year due to the high cost of AutoCad, and I absolutely love it.


      My problem is that my school will begin a new teacher evaluation process whereby a teacher's evaluation is 50% administrator observation and 50% student performance. I am not a career tech/vocational education teacher so I may only have students for a semester or maybe a semester their freshman year and a semester their senior year. I would use the CSWA exam but I may not have a student long enough for them to learn enough to pass all of it. I was wondering if there were other teachers out there who use SolidWorks and have to show student performance as part of ther evaluations, and how they are able to do it.




        • Re: Help with integrating Solidworks into a traditonal drafting class
          David Suelflow

          I’m not a teacher, but I play one on TV…


          Freshman year/semester I would crank through as many of the “SolidWorks Fundamentals” level classes (or similar) as you can, and have some sort of minimum standard set at the end.  Maybe it could parallel a student’s personal project to retain interest.  See Also Ponoko or 123D.  At the end, give them a test, it could be your own or the CSWA. 


          Then offer the computer lab to them over the course of the next years (after school or during unused times), maybe even in the form of a club.  All the time retaining interest as well as offering the CSWx exams.  A subscription to Solid Professor or I-Get-It would be great for self-directed instruction.


          Then when you get them as seniors, you could refine the skills they have developed over that time, or work on a challenging project.  Then you can offer another one of your tests, the CSWA, the CSWP or even the CSWE.  This way you have a measure of success from the initial class, from the interim period and from the final class.  You may even set them on the path to a rewarding career.


          If you only get them for one semester in all four years, I would do the first two parts and track their progress through the “club”.  This would give you the ability to track progress even if it happens beyond the class.


          I would also strongly encourage participation in your local SWUG for learning and networking.

          • Re: Help with integrating Solidworks into a traditonal drafting class
            John Sutherland

            I inherited a high school (16 yr olds) class who had Pro E foisted on them by the previous teacher who imagined that every kid was a potential Einstein.


            I cajoled the brighter ones into modelling a cottage frame.  The recordable results were hardcopy drawings of parts, sub assemblies and assembly.


            I also had them in the woodwork room so they built what they modelled, and I recorded those results.


            My marking scale was achieved or not achieved.  That easily sorted the sheep from the goats.


            My philosophy was focussing on first principles, and KISS.  I see "tutorials" as marketing tools, not teaching tools.